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Classified School Employees of the Year

Recognizes exemplary classified school employees who best represent all of California's classified staff and symbolize the profession's contributions and commitment to quality education.

Program Information

A component of the California School Recognition Program (CSRP), the Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) Program highlights contributions of classified school employees who support the education of California’s more than six million public school students from preschool through grade twelve. The CSEY Program pays tribute to the tireless efforts of our states outstanding classified school employees. From school bus drivers to cafeteria workers to instructional aides, these employees are the unsung heroes who play key roles in creating a school environment that contributes to the whole child by promoting student achievement, safety, and health. CSEY Awardees are recognized at an event during Classified School Employee Week, the third full week of May each year.

With the implementation of the National Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award in 2020, CSEY Awardees are eligible to be nominated to become a National RISE recipient. Information about the National RISE Award can be found on the U.S. Department of Education Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award External link opens in new window or tab. website.

Eligibility Criteria

The California Department of Education (CDE) invites county offices of education (COEs) to participate in the CSEY Program. To be eligible for the CSEY Program, applicants must:

  • Be a current classified school employee of a California public school (preschool through grade twelve), including charter schools, school districts, and county offices of education.
  • Be named as a finalist in their local county competition.
  • Be a rank and file employee, not in a management or supervisory position.
  • Have a minimum of five years of service in nomination category, with no minimum full-time equivalent.

Application

County offices of education (COE) that would like to submit a nominee for the 2021 CSEY Award must submit a completed 2021 CSEY Application (Online Survey), by Friday, April 16, 2021.

COEs must work with their CSEY County Coordinator to submit Applications. Applications will only be accepted from CSEY County Coordinators.

COEs may submit one nominee for each of the following nine occupational specialties:

  1. Paraprofessional
    The work must be directly related to instructional services to students. For example: classroom assistant, instructional aide, and library assistant.
  2. Clerical and Administrative Services
    The work must be directly related to clerical or secretarial duties. For example: attendance clerk, secretary, and accountant.
  3. Transportation Services
    The work must be directly related to student transportation. For examples: bus driver and dispatcher.
  4. Food and Nutrition Services
    The work must be directly related to food handling and/or preparation. For example: chef, cook, and cafeteria worker.
  5. Custodial and Maintenance Services
    The work must be directly related to operation or maintenance services. For example: custodian and groundskeeper.
  6. Security Services
    The work must be directly related to the security of students and/or property. For example: campus security monitor, and community outreach assistant.
  7. Health and Student Services
    The work must be directly related to health and student services. For example: nurse and counselor.
  8. Technical Services
    The work must be directly related to technical duties. For example: network engineer, technology support, and programmer.
  9. Skilled Trades
    The work must be directly related to skilled services. For example: carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, and mechanic.

COEs must submit a separate Application for each nominee.

For more information regarding the 2021 CSEY Application process, please contact your California School Recognition Program County Coordinator.

Selection Process

All COEs should celebrate and recognize outstanding classified school employees. The CSEY Program identifies exemplary classified school employees throughout California with a structure of local, regional, and statewide recognition activities and selects employees to serve as CSEY Awardees. The CDE provides COEs with the requirements for submitting applications and the documentation descriptions that will be evaluated at the state level. Candidates for the CSEY Award compete in the CDE state program as nominees of COEs.

The CDE will convene a selection committee to evaluate the applications using the eligibility criteria and the performance documentation in the following six areas:

  1. Work performance.
  2. School and community involvement.
  3. Leadership and commitment.
  4. Local support (from co-workers, school administrators, community members, etc., who speak to the nominee's exemplary work).
  5. Enhancement of classified school employees' image in the community and schools.
  6. Any other areas (the school deems exceptional and pertinent to the CSEY Award).

The CDE selection committee then recommends a finalist for each occupational specialty. The finalists are forwarded to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, or their designee, who then approves and notifies the CSEY Awardee for each occupational specialty.

Note: CSEY Awardees may be recorded and photographed. Video and photographs may be used on the CDE's web site, social media, and other publications such as Facebook.

Timeline of Activities

Date Activity
February 2021 2021 CSEY Application announcement and posting.
April 16, 2021 2021 CSEY Application due date.
May 2021 2021 CSEY Awardees and 2021 National Recognizing Inspiring School Employees Nominee(s) announced.
May 16-22, 2021 Classified School Employee Week.
May 2021 2021 CSEY Virtual Awards Ceremony.

Sponsors

We are thankful for our California School Recognition Program Sponsors who help to make the Classified School Employees of the Year Program a success! The CSRP would not be successful without the generous support they provide. We appreciate their willingness to support our efforts to recognize California's exemplary schools, teachers, and classified school employees, for achievement and for advancing excellence in education.

Resources

California School Employees Association Classified School Employee Week External link opens in new window or tab.
California School Employees Association information about the importance of Classified School Employee Week.

California School Recognition Program County Coordinators
Contact information for California School Recognition Program county office of education coordinators.

Classified School Employees of the Year County Office of Education Participation
Participation information for county offices of education in support of the Classified School Employees of the Year Program.

Classified School Employees of the Year Awardees
Classified School Employees of the Year Awardees by year.

Classified School Employees of the Year Awards Luncheons
Classified School Employees of the Year Awards Luncheons by year.

Questions: Awards Team | awards@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0842 
Last Reviewed: Monday, February 22, 2021
Recently Posted in Awards and Recognition